David Knoble, CPA, PLLC

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Small Business Recession Review and Guide

Dur­ing an eco­nomic down­turn small busi­nesses must tighten up to sur­vive.  How­ever, there are many changes that a small busi­ness can make to their val­ues and daily oper­a­tions that will assist them in a down­turn.  Quick­Books in the UK pub­lished a 23 page dis­cus­sion on the state of the UK econ­omy and very spe­cific tar­gets for small busi­ness.  This guide is well worth the read, even for US com­pa­nies.The Small Busi­ness Mat­ters group of Quick­Books UK is focuesed on the small busi­ness as its name implies.   Many of their sug­ges­tions are uni­lat­eral to any small business.

For exam­ple,  their guide includes spe­cific tips for Finance,  Busi­ness Strat­egy and Human Resources.  A sum­mary of their sug­ges­tions are listed below.

Finance

  1. Man­age your finances — be sure to keep track of where you are in cash, debt and receiv­ables.  Your CPA can be a valu­able resource for this.
  2. Slash your bills — check your reg­u­lar bills to be sure that all the ser­vices you are pay­ing for you really requested.  Be sure the rates are also correct.
  3. Man­age your rela­tion­ships — be sure you keep in close touch with your cus­tomers, lenders and suppliers.
  4. Explore fund­ing — keep look­ing for alter­nate sources of fund­ing.  Under­stand­ing what is avail­able before you need it will help secure it when time is critical.

Busi­ness Strategy

  1. At the heart — focus on your core and on what you do best.  Now is not the time to spend money explor­ing new untested ideas that may use cash and not repay for sev­eral years.
  2. Under­stand your cus­tomer bet­ter — be sure your cus­tomers know you under­stand their busi­ness and their needs.
  3. Small busi­ness — since many large com­pa­nies are dis­con­tin­u­ing rela­tion­ships with smaller cus­tomers, now is the time to tar­get them.
  4. Stay above the radar — as the econ­omy bounces back you will want poten­tial cus­tomers to know who you are — keep qual­ity adver­tis­ing run­ning, not just quantity.

Human Resources

  1. Acknowl­edge the fear — employ­ees are scared for their job and their fam­i­lies.  Look at your health pol­icy to see if coun­sel­ing is cov­ered and be sure they are aware of this.  Be sen­si­tive to changes in employee behavior.
  2. Be hon­est — this goes with­out say­ing, but be sure to have hon­est dis­cus­sions with employ­ees.  Candy coat­ing prob­lems will only lead to dis­loyal employ­ees and a fail­ing business.
  3. Invest in peo­ple — now is the time for qual­ity train­ing and resources to bet­ter your work force.  Develop your best peo­ple and keep them con­tribut­ing to your success.
  4. Put loy­alty first — show your employ­ees your loy­alty.  Small thoughts go a long way.

Read the full text of the Small Busi­ness Reces­sion Review and Guide for much more infor­ma­tion.  The key is to plan and per­form.  Think about your busi­ness from all angles and have employ­ees help you exe­cute that plan.  Remem­ber the plan includes more than just cus­tomers and products.

It is never too late to imple­ment choices such as these!

© 2009, david.knoble
by David Kno­ble, CPA, PLLC
Serv­ing Non-Profits, Busi­nesses & Indi­vid­u­als
Rock Hill, SC

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